How do you stop string squeak?
String squeak is the annoying sound that happens when you slide your hands up and down the neck and when you change chords.
Like living next to a busy street- after a while your mind subconsciously ignores the sound of passing traffic and car alarms. Its the same principle with the infamous guitar squeak.
When you focus on the mechanics of playing your mind moves to other awareness and it starts to mask out your perception of string noise.
Most players become painfully aware of string noise when they attempt their first recordings. The microphones never lies. That's when string noise sticks out like a pimple on prom night!
Some ways to reduce string noise:
Monitor your technique. Pay attention.
Often small adjustments in the way you play make big differences in your tone and how "clean" you play.
Try changing the arch in your chording hand by moving your thumb to a different position behind the neck. You want your fingers to pull up from the strings- no pull off of them.
Use less pressure when you slide up and down the neck. Only use the minimum force to get the job done.
Clean your strings and fretboard
Strings get gunk build-up. Wipe your strings down- particularly if you have sweaty hands.
Some players use Lemon Pledge to wipe down the neck, strings and frets.
Collectors cringe at the idea of using a furniture polish and don't advise it. Players go for it.
A good combo is Lemon Pledge and Murphy's Oil soap for the fretboard.
The John Pierce Company makes a great product for wiping strings down- John Pearse String Swipes. Each wipe contains CAIG DeoxIT that will help to protect and extend the life of your strings. I have found it to add a little spark back to tired strings and it definitely adds time to the string life. You get about 50 little wipes per container.
Lube it up!
Finger-Ease Guitar String Lubricant is a good choice. It comes in a little spray can for around $5.
Other tricks to lessen "String Talk":
A little Dab will do ya. I saw a classical guitarist tap the back of his guitar neck just below the tuning pegs several times during a performance. I asked him why he did that and he showed me his guitar. On the back of the neck was a dab of VASOLINE. He used it to cut down on his string noise by tapping his fingertips on it and rubbing into his fingertips when needed.
Use baby powder for sweaty hands
Wipe your strings with a tiny bit of WD-40
Try different microphone- remember different mics are designed to pick up different frequencies.
Move the position of the Microphone during recording- experiment.
Filter out the squeaks in the Mix-down and Master (better to just play it right)
Do not use Hand Sanitizer Gel- it clears away the oils on your fingers and causes more friction and squeak.
If your nervous and your hands get dry during your $90 an hour recording session- as strange as it sounds- run your fretting hand through your hair. The natural oils in your hair can sometimes help!
Sorry bald dudes. Stock up on Finger- ease!
Remember- non-guitarists are at your shows to- and they hear the traffic! I loaned an acoustic guitar Cd to a non-guitar player. She returned it the next day saying "This sucks- All I can hear is that squeaky noise so I took it out after two songs"
Practice playing clean and it will inmprove your game! String noise is a reality of guitar playing - but the great players learn how to control it.